The cheques stays: A victory for small business?
Sometimes something happens and rather than hyperbole or unrestrained excitement a plain and simple “thank goodness for that, the world isn’t crazy after all” will suffice. Just about every small business owner will be thinking that following the announcement by the Payments Council that after much threatening cheques will not be abolished and that they will “continue to provide customers with cheques for as long as they are needed”.
In these days of debt where it is all too easy to overload the credit card it’s easy to forget the crucial part cheques have played for decades in helping consumers and business alike manage their outgoings and control their cashflow. The threat to abolish cheques whilst less pronounced for the average household would have had a huge impact on the elderly more used to them as a means of payment and crucially would have dealt a catastrophic blow for businesses struggling to manage cashflow on all fronts.
The rise of the direct debit, the standing order and other mechanisms designed to keep the money in the business account for increasingly small amounts of time is a huge source of frustration and quite frankly a serious handicap for SMEs. Whilst clearly most businesses try and persuade their debtors to avoid cheque payment the reality is that it has been, continues to be, and hopefully always will be, a way for small businesses to effectively manage their financial affairs.
When it comes to paying for energy costs, it is increasingly rare for business energy suppliers to provide tariffs you can pay for by cheque, such things do still exist. However, the premium charged makes them fundamentally unattractive to potential customers.
So to counter the necessary evil of direct debit for business energy costs it makes sense to fix prices, have a clear view of cashflow and let our friend the cheque help us out with those business costs that are still holding traditional values and virtues true for Britain’s small businesses.
Thank you Payments Council, a victory for common sense at last
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